NATIONAL REGISTER of Historic Places: 116 Front Street - The structure was probably originally one-and-a-half-story gable-fronted commercial building with mid-nineteenth century rear addition, circa 1900 second story, much original interior architecture fabric survives including beaded ceiling joists and mid-nineteenth century wallpaper, half of a one-story twentieth century shop added to east side.
Robert Spence McLean was a Scotsman involved in the turpentine trade. He occupied the building when it was partially burned by Union forces in 1864. By the 1870 Swansboro census, Robert McLean, born about 1822, was a 48-year-old hotel keeper. Along with his wife Margaret and two children, in the “hotel” were five guests, including physician William Smith, steam mill operator Frank Thomas and teamster Benjamin Shepard.According to historian Jack Dudley, in Swansboro-A Pictorial Tribute, ..."McLean was the Swansboro postmaster during the Civil War, and his store was ransacked by the Yankees. It has been ravaged by fire several times. It is located at 116 Front Street on Lot No. 5 in the original layout of the town. Swansboro's first drugstore was in the McLean Building around 1904. Jesse Canady opened a drugstore, and his son Will was the druggist."